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10 Sharp Tips for Snapping Back to Attention

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The rigors of the day can make it difficult for anyone to stay on task. They can cause your concentration to wane, and make you miss little, but important details.

How do you refocus your mind when doing so is like moving Mount Everest? These strategies for snapping back to attention will help.

10 Sharp Tips for Better Focusing

1. Remove distracting gadgets

Experts advocate the creation of gadget-free zones. Christine Hohlraum, the author of The Power of Slow, suggests that our time-saving devices may be a greater distraction than we think. Besides being detrimental to your concentration, they may ruin your relationships as well.

2. Close the extra tabs on the computer

Having ten applications open on your desktop means that you spend a lot of time moving from one to another. Open only one window for the task at hand. Doing so reduces your temptation to toggle between activities.

3. Do not multitask

Today's culture of instant gratification makes it difficult to keep on a single task at a time. That said, try not to cook dinner while writing a critical report. You will not complete either task well.

4. Go outdoors

Most of us spend our time in unnatural settings like office cubicles. Change your working environment when you can. Move your laptop to a natural environment. If this is difficult, focus on a plant or picture for a time.

5. Find out how stimulated you are

According to studies, a steady stream of slight stimulation increases a person's attention span. Little stimulation means that a task is too mundane. Excessive stimulation leads to stress and anxiety. Participate in engaging activities, but set limits.

6. Use positive self-talk

Use motivating self-talk to focus on your task. Ask "What do I have to do now?", then tell yourself to "keep at it, keep at it, keep at it."

7. Use to-do lists

One strategy for clearing your mind is to use lists. Keep one for writing down thoughts that pop randomly into your mind, and another for writing down tasks you have to complete.

8. Focus on specific cues

Think of activities you excel at and transfer the concentration skills you use to complete them to the task at hand. If you sing well, use your skills for remembering lyrics to memorizing other details.

9. Fidget

Moving about may seem contrary to other focusing strategy, but it works. It frees up your mental energy so that you can concentrate better. You may have colleagues who love twirling pens mindlessly. The apparently thoughtless activity moves their minds continuously. If you do not want to distract others by moving objects around, try changing your environment during the day.

10. Use reminders

Write down your goals. They will remind you why it is worth resisting distractions and motivate you to complete your tasks.

When your mind is overwhelmed, use these strategies to unload it and snap back to attention.

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